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Academic Challenge

Our Academic Challenge (AC) Program enables academically-gifted students to achieve excellence in an environment that supports their unique intellectual, social and emotional needs. AC is intended for those gifted students who have the capacity to acquire information rapidly and think abstractly. Students in the program also exhibit a wide range of abilities in general intellect, academics and creative thinking.

Academic Challenge is offered to students in Grade 4-6 at SAM School. Students may then continue on in the program at Sir George Simpson Junior High School. 

What is unique about Academic Challenge?

Academic Challenge allows students to:
• engage in independent and group learning projects;
• learn creatively, using alternative ways to process concepts and information;
• follow their interests;
• set goals in a learning plan and conduct self-assessment;
• learn at their own pace in smaller classes;
• discuss and work with like-minded peers;
• use a variety of resources, including technology and field trips, to conduct research;
• understand their interests and strengths; and
• learn time-management skills.

Which students will benefit from AC?

Students will benefit from the AC Program if they:
• enjoy a challenge;
• are highly motivated to learn;
• enjoy finding solutions and synthesizing information;
• are independent and responsible learners;
• need mental stimulation; and
• are curious.

What unique opportunities are available to AC students?

Sir Alexander Mackenzie Elementary School students take part in a variety of group and individual-focus projects. Examples include: cultural and heritage festivals, math and science fairs, mechanical device construction, and drama productions.

École Sir George Simpson Junior High School students showcase their talents and abilities through special projects that require higher levels of sophistication. Enhanced resources, such as videoconferences with prominent people and the use of guest speakers, provide enrichment. Students may also pursue unique option courses.

What happens after Grade 9?

The majority of AC students go into academic programs in high school. International Baccalaureate (IB) is offered at Bellerose Composite High School and Advanced Placement (AP) is offered at Paul Kane High School. In a recent group of AC students, 50 per cent enrolled in the IB program, 32 per cent enrolled in the AP program and 18 per cent enrolled in the regular high school program.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie Elementary School